SANDY — “The vibe is good. The team is upbeat.”
Those were the words of confidence that Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran delivered Sunday afternoon as the team prepares to jump back into MLS play this weekend at Chivas USA.
Beltran credited the team's World Cup break with helping the guys get refreshed and gain more hunger for competitive soccer.
“This break was helpful from a couple of aspects. Number one to get people healthy. Guys are playing a lot of games through this tough stretch with knocks and things like that, so it refreshes everybody,” said Beltran. “Especially with the World Cup, guys go away for a week and spend time with friends and family and they're watching these games, they’re biting at the bit to get out here and start training. The intensity out here today, with the U.S. playing, was one of the best practices of the year. It’s exciting.”
RSL midfielder Luis Gil indicated the break is also a great opportunity to get over the past few matches that haven’t gone in favor of the Claret-and-Cobalt.
“I feel everything is good. We’ve had a little break now, and we’ve had time to recuperate. I feel like we’re just moving forward now, we’re not looking in the past."
WORLD CUP FEVER: Taking in the tournament has been splendid for U.S. soccer fans, and Beltran has been enjoying the national discussion surrounding the USMNT.
“It’s great to see the nation collectively rally behind them, so it’s a really exciting time for U.S. soccer and MLS,” said Beltran. “It’s really cool to see everybody all the sudden talk like ‘I know we can beat Portugal, I know we can beat Germany, I know we can get out of the group.’ It’s just really great for American soccer.”
As for predictions, Beltran chose the notion of not looking too far ahead.
“As a player, I’m trying not to look too far ahead, but again I think the American mentality that we have so much belief in what we’re capable of and what we can achieve. We’ll see what happens. No matter what, we’re so proud of Kyle and Nick and the entire team.”
Follow Conner Johnson on Twitter: TheConner88
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company